Over time, Lucia has evolved into the patron saint of the blind, of eye doctors, and for all those experiencing problems with their eyes. Her name means light--which explains the girls with candles on their heads! (Their white robes symbolize her innocence and the red sash signifies her blood shed for her faith.)
Santa Lucia's feast day is celebrated in a big way every year in Sweden and Norway, (Hi, Snorri!) and as long as Scandinavian winter nights are, one can see why the Nordic folk would be attracted to this bright and shiny tradition. These videos explain the general proceedings of the fun to be had on St. Lucia's day, as well as a gorgeous rendition of St. Lucia's special song.
So, check it out! But one caveat. If you decide to join in and walk around this Saturday night with a wreath of candles on your head, I highly suggest you use the flameless, LED variety. Or at least, definitely skip the hairspray. :P
Enjoy! ~ G